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Inside the NFL | TIMES E-MAIL WITH JEFF GARCIA

New Approach, New Coach, No Problem

September 06, 2003|Sam Farmer

Sam Farmer, pro football specialist for The Times, is spending some of his time this season swapping e-mail with NFL personnel. This week, Farmer was online with San Francisco 49er quarterback Jeff Garcia:

Farmer: Ted Tollner, your quarterback coach, has said you're throwing the deep ball better now than you did all last season. Are you better because you're working on it more in practice?

Garcia: I don't necessarily think so. I think it's a sense of emphasis on completing balls down the field, and the receivers and me working together to know where they are going to be in certain situations, and throwing the ball to the point where they can make a play. I felt I have thrown the ball well when it comes to deep throws in the past. I just don't think we had a lot of opportunities to do it last year. Hopefully, we can do it more this year.

Farmer: With Dennis Erickson as coach, do you think anyone will question this team's killer instinct, as Terrell Owens did the last two seasons?

Garcia: Not at all. I think that Dennis brings a huge passion for being aggressive on the football field when it comes to making plays and making things happen and making the most of opportunities. I think he brings an awesome attitude to this team.

Farmer: You've had back problems this summer and have talked about managing them. At what point does that change you as a player, your mobility?

Garcia: It hasn't changed me as a player or my mobility at all. I step on the field and I feel nothing is wrong with me. I make every play as if I was completely healthy, and that's the attitude that I have to have. That's the aggressiveness that I have to maintain on the field, and I'm not going to change anything.

Farmer: The 49ers won the division title last season and now are healthier on defense. Why do you think a lot of people have picked the Rams to win the NFC West?

Garcia: The Rams are a very athletic football team. They have some solid quarterbacks. Their defense is going to be much better than what they were last year.... If they're the ones to beat, that's who we have to aim for. There's not necessarily a pride thing if we are picked to win the division or not.

Farmer: You used to be able to sit in the bleachers at Giants' games unnoticed. Is there anything you miss about being anonymous?

Garcia: There isn't a sense of privacy. Other than that, this is something that is going to be short-lived. It's not going to last for the rest of my life. People are very positive to me on the streets, and it's just one of those things where I am going to appreciate it and enjoy it.

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